Over 100 people will take part in a fundraising walk in memory of a North Uist woman later this month.
As part of the 1 Million Miles for Ellie campaign a nine-mile walk will take place on 29th October in memory of Ellie Macdonald from Paible who died from cancer aged just 23 in 2014.
Over 100 students from St Andrews University — which Ellie graduated from only weeks before her death — will join Ellie’s friends and families to walk from Cambo Estate in Fife to Castle Sands in St Andrews.
The 1 Million Miles for Ellie appeal started last summer and has already raised over £70,000. It urges people to raise money by doing anything from a simple walk on the beach to a mountain climb, a kayaking expedition to a triathlon – all to beat cancer sooner. Money raised will be split between Cancer Research UK, Maggie’s and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Among those taking part in the walk later this month will be Ellie’s mum Michelle, who said: “Ellie was so precious to all our family and meant everything to me. Ellie made a bucket list before she died and it was packed full of adventurous plans. It showed how she really believed anything was possible. We’re keen to capture that enthusiasm, energy and inspiration in 1 Million Miles for Ellie.
“Our family are so grateful to the amazing students at St Andrews University for supporting us. This walk is going to be a huge success. It will be a lovely chance for our family to retrace Ellie’s footsteps and see some of the places where she was happiest during her time at university.”
Ellie was in her final year of a degree in management when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2013. Her mum has herself overcome breast cancer twice but was pregnant when she was first diagnosed and lost the child due to treatment.
She said: “I was with Ellie when she was told she had cancer. She took it so well. Her mum had got over it twice so why shouldn’t she? I would have given her my life in a second but it doesn’t work that way. To lose a child under any circumstances is hard to come to terms with. To lose a child to a disease that has blighted our family twice and taken a child already is unbearable. Ellie is buried next to John Joseph, the baby I lost when I had cancer.”
Michelle added: “Even if I started as a baby and lived a long life I know I couldn’t walk a million miles alone but that distance could be covered with the help of people across Scotland and across the world. I don’t need to do this on my own as I believe together we can beat cancer. That will be my tribute to Ellie.”
For more information see 1millionmilesforellie.co.uk